Yorkville updates various policies

YORKVILLE – Village council passed several ordinances during Tuesday night’s session, some of which were revisions of old policies.

“I started redoing some of these (ordinances),” said Mayor Blair Closser. “The reason being, some of these are way out-dated. Some are back in the fifties and sixties.”

Closser explained that he has compiled a list of ordinances for council to review in the coming months so that the policies can be updated in regards to what would be the current standard procedure. Many of the ordinances on the list, Closser said, are ones that village workers and council have to use frequently.

On Tuesday, council reviewed three ordinances. The first of these was one concerning motor homes and trailers. The ordinance has been an as-is village policy since 1957.

The amendment to the ordinance which was passed by council concerned the penalty for a violation. Previously, a violation would result in a $50 fine. With the updated policy, however, any violation is now a minor misdemeanor, which is a more expensive fine that can recur each day an individual is in violation of the ordinance.

The next ordinance to be reviewed concerned littering in the village. The ordinance has been updated to be more in line with how the Ohio Revised Code handles laws of littering. However, the revisions have not yet been approved by council.

The new ordinance, which was read by Closser, includes a clause which defines litter as “anything of an unsightly or unsanitary nature” in addition to more specific examples. Those in violation of this ordinance will be given 15 days to correct the problem.

Nevertheless, some debate arose about the cleanup and penalty for an offense to the ordinance. As the ordinance currently sits, the village would perform the cleanup after the 15-day grace period has expired, with the property owner footing the bill. According to Solicitor Bernard Battistel, however, this would be an inefficient way of collecting the fines for any violations that may occur.

“Another option would be to make it a criminal offense,” Battistel said, “and make it a minor misdemeanor.” He explained that as the ordinance currently sits, the village would essentially have to put a lien on the property of any violators, which would result in more time before the village could collect the money from the fine. However, if a violation is made a minor misdemeanor, a citation could be issued by the police department and the violator would have to pay the fine by order of the court, which would get the money back into village accounts much more quickly.

The ordinance is going to be revised to reflect these changes, and it will be voted on at the next session of council.

Council then passed an updated ordinance in regards to grass and noxious weeds. This ordinance, like the last, was adjusted to fit the ORC and will involve a 15-day grace period. Battistel advised council that the lien is a more appropriate choice as a penalty for violating this ordinance.

Council also:

  • Approved the renewal of the 1-mill levy to appear on the November ballot.
  • Passed a resolution to accept the amounts and rates as determined by the budget commission, authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor.
  • Discussed upcoming projects on Heiland Avenue concerning the replacement of sections of the road, in addition to replacing curbs and repainting lines on Deep Run Road. Village officials will seek estimates for the projects, and Closser is to begin the application process.
  • Acknowledged a recent discussion between Closser and Belmont County Commissioner Ginny Favede concerning the upcoming Belmont County Museum. Village officials are seeking historic items from the village to put on display.
  • Acknowledged that the Neighborhood Watch Program will hold a training session on July 9 at 6 p.m. The session will teach residents the proper way to use a fire extinguisher. Also, a future session will provide CPR lessons to residents.
  • Acknowledged that the Yorkville Fire Department will hold its annual steak fry on Aug. 9 from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. Also, there will be Family Fun Night on July 16 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Warren Township Pool.
  • Approved the hiring of Matthew Bailey to the Yorkville Police Department.
  • Excused Councilman Matt Goolie from Tuesday night’s session.
  • Discussed the issue of the dogs at a residence in the village. Several citizens voiced their concern that the large dogs are not restrained enough by the chain link fencing and that they lunge at passers-by. Also, the owners let the dogs’ waste pile up in their yard, and the dogs are unreasonably loud throughout the day and night. Police Chief John Marelli will speak with the homeowner about the issue in regards to violations of the village’s noise and litter ordinances. The citizens who spoke at council were requested to file a formal complaint at the police department.

Scott can be reached at jscott@timesleaderonline.com.